Despite being an efficient form of transport, shipping causes between 2-3% of world emissions. To reduce these emissions Silverstream Technologies have developed an Air Lubrication System (ALS) shown to reduce fuel consumption by 5-8%. The system works by shearing air from air release units (ARUs) in the hull to create a uniform carpet of bubbles that coats the ship hull bottom, reducing the frictional drag. The quality of the carpet determines the potential fuel savings and this is determined by the rate of airflow into the air release units, design and geometry of the air release units, operating modes of the ship and the environmental conditions it is sailing in. This forms a complex problem that is difficult to understand and model and where it’s difficult to replicate realistic operating conditions through experiments.
To help understand the performance of the system, this PhD will focus on deepening understanding of the physics of operation of the Air Lubrication System. Using data from ships operating with the Silverstream Air Lubrication System, correlated with the system power, the most important parameters for performance of the Air Lubrication System will be determined in conjunction with experts in machine learning. These parameters will be used to define numerical models of the Air Lubrication System and air release unit geometry in computational fluid dynamics and to design bespoke experiments. The experiments and modelling will be aimed at understanding the relationship between air flow, air release unit geometry and bubble carpet properties (size, volume, air fraction and bubble persistence). In turn the relationship between the bubble carpet properties and the reduction in frictional resistance of the vessel will be explored in depth.
With this enhanced understanding of the physics of the bubble carpet and relationship to ship resistance reduction, the design of the air flow system and air release unit itself can be improved to maximise system efficiency.
Supervision will be provided by Dominic Hudson and Adam Sobey in the Maritime Engineering group at the University of Southampton. In addition, you will work closely with the Applied Research Group at Silverstream Technologies. We are looking for a driven candidate with expertise in, or interest in learning about: Maritime Engineering, and Fluid Mechanics. We’d particularly like to see candidates interested in making real world changes to reduce maritime emissions through development of world-leading fundamental approaches.
A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).
Closing date: applications should be received no later than 25 June 2023 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.
Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £17,668 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.
Applications should include:
Two reference letters
Degree Transcripts/Certificates to date
For further information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £17,668 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.